19.02.2013 - 25.02.2013 38 °C
We started off this new week with a visit to Dzibilchaltun Ruins. Getting my father to move in the morning is about as difficult as it must have been for the Mayans to build their temples one stone at a time!!! Our plan was to leave early but that didn't quite jibe with what my father had in mind. Eventually we were underway with a short 30 min drive. These are more extensive than Xcambo but it was better to progress slowly with them. I would have liked to take them to Uxmal. However, that will have to be for another time! Next year I want to go for more trips with Dara and hopefully Andy and Alexis.
In Xcambo the most famous structure is the Temple Of The Seven Dolls, so named because of seven small effigies found at the site when the temple was discovered under the ruins of a later temple pyramid by archaeologists in the 1950s. During the Spring equinox, (which I do plan to attend at the weeeee hours of the morning next month) the sun rises so that it shines directly through one window of the temple and out the other. This is a similar event to the descending snake of Chichen Itza designed to show the power of the gods. The temple is connected to the rest of the site by a sacbe, or "white road," so-called because they were originally coated with white limestone, built over stone-and-rubble fill.
(my father chose to not walk this road and sat under a tree)
Temple of the dolls
The other major feature of Dzibilchaltún is its cenote, Cenote Xlakah, located around the center of the city's ruins. It is thought that the availability of this source of clean drinking water influenced the builders choice of the location. Archaeological findings retrieved from the cenote by divers indicate that it was the center of a religious cult. These days the cenote is used as a swimming hole by local residents and tourists. Incredibly, I even managed to get my father to put his feet in the water and squat.. One end is very deep and crystal clear. Great for diving!
The end I got dad to go in was shallow but rocky. I swam in this warm water for at least an hour, while taking in the surroundings.
This cenote was only a few feet away from the structures. What else might this water hole have been used for?
Dzibilchaltún also contains the ruin of a 16th century Spanish church built at the site after the conquest. Why oh why!!! STAY OUT!
After a lovely three hours at this archeological site we headed home to find the restaurant my father so desperately sussed out yesterday. His choice was the Flamingo Restaurant, from where they had viewed the parade the previous week. It turned out to be a delicious choice; watching him devour his 8 oyster shells, that were covered in a béchamel sauce with cheese and bacon sprinkled on top, you knew he was in heaven. My mom had this lovely filet of fish made with achiote turning the fish red and steamed in a banana leaf:
(The shrub that annatto seeds come from is called achiote. Grown in Southeast Asia and introduced to the Spanish in the 1800s, the achiote fruit itself is not edible. The American Indians used annatto for body paint many years ago. Some parts of the achiote plant can be added to medicinal remedies to treat burns and headaches.) Here is the recipe for making this paste
This certainly was a terrific way to end the days excursion.
I really had no idea how many people were going to show up for our Bitch and Stitch morning and just as I was about to give up Jackie came along and we enjoyed our morning of chit chat. I still have a cold but it is starting to improve. Forgetting completely that I wanted to take my parents to the jam session at Yacunah Hotel I took a nap (I never nap) so I guess I needed a nap more than remembering to go out. I think my parents enjoyed staying in that day anyway! The funny thing is I didn't even remember that I was going to go out until the next day when Sheila mentioned that they went and had a wonderful time. This was when I kicked myself for not going!
What seemed to be a slow day at the Muelle Market turned out to be as good as the previous one but nothing as great as the one in January. Unfortunately this one fell on a "Cruiseship Day" and the Mexican vendors are busy at their market in Progreso. Some had tables at both. I do think that being a hot day that many don't like to go far from their pools. I will have to decide if I want to do any more of these. Give me a week to think about it. I don't want to make any more of the coasters and don't seem to sell any of the other items I make so I should maybe pack it in for this year.
We decided we didn't want to cook so ventured to the new Thai Restaurant nearby: Thai Flash! They were a bit overwhelmed by the numbers in the restaurant and therefore the service was a bit slow, not that this bothered me all that much but my Father isn't the most patient man on this earth!!!! We asked Diane and her friend to join us, Diane can talk the hind legs off several donkeys in one sitting. I enjoy her but I could see my father getting a bit bored! I say thank goodness for them keeping us entertained than trying to have a conversation with my father when he can't hear very well especially in a crowd of people. The food was very good but I was full from my appetizer of the soft spring rolls and only ate half my chicken red curry. I will get to enjoy it another day after my parents leave!
My Mom and Sheila went into Merida for the day to go to the Mayan Museum and have lunch after at the great restaurant, ( we should have gone there when we planned to; ah there is always next year!) I on the other hand went into Dzitya with Jackie and her friend........
Yucatan's Main Stone and Wood Carving Town. Dzitya (DZEET-yah) is a tiny town located 10 km – 6 mi from Merida the capital city of Yucatan Mexico, on the road to Progreso Beach. It has a population of approximately 2,000.
You must be asking yourselves why I would I even consider writing about such a small town. Well, first let me tell you that this is no ordinary pueblo (town), it’s Yucatan’s main stone and wood carving town
Your first impression upon arriving will be of another hot and dusty village, all one could see is small stone and mortar (mamposteria) houses with signs on the walls and a display of samples of their work in front of their houses, letting you know that they are artisans and that they work with stone, wood or both.
Keep going, make a few turns, and arrive at the main square, where you will see a quaint tiny church, a small park with some trees and benches and a not too small, empty main square with more traditional mamposteria homes and stores around it.
shop on the square
These are small businesses, where you will find entire families busy working the stone and wood. You can look around and get the best price. after going to three shops and seeing the same family name we asked if they were related. He said that they were but at the next shop with the same family name she claimed that they were not. That it was a common name in this town!!! I guess there is a lot of inbreeding LOL!!!
It seems that any wood and stone worker in Dzitya is capable of developing any design from a drawing or a photo, and they have plenty of samples of their work to show you their skill and techniques.
The woods used for their handcrafts are mahogany, cedar, huayacán and chucum.
Stopping the second shop, we found someone who was willing to make us these napkin holders which we described to him. Jackie had seen some in Isla Mujeres and asked where they were made only to find out it was in this town so close to us in Progreso (half way to Merida) So we thought we would find them but after checking about 6 different shops where they are making them in the back of the house with quite nice tools
He says he will have them ready for us by the 10th March and deliver them to Progreso for me.What service! I have his number and we gave him 50% deposit as a guarantee we to get them. .These crafters are usually very honest. Let's hope they turn out like we want them!!
He says he will have them ready for us by the 10th March. I have his number and we gave him 50% deposit so we should be able to get them. He said he would bring them to Progreso. Let's hope they turn out like we want them!!
I returned home to find my dad was resting; so I guess he did ok on his own. We ate lunch and relaxed on the patio chatting with Dara at home who is now questioning why he returned home so soon!! LOL I told him to stay! He now knows better for next year! All we have to do is convince Andy to come down too and we will be all set
I tried the fundraiser bingo game again but as last time I was the only looser at our table. I think I will skip it next year! By then I will have completely forgotten my loosing streak and likely will play again!!!!
When I returned I found Ian with Ian. It was hilarious; Ian came along the beach and came up to my dad who was sitting on the wall. He says do you know where this is? No not really it is my daughters house. We are just visiting and Ian says and your name is Ian. Oh how did you know? My name is Ian too! Then my dad realized who he was talking to and had a good laugh. So he got him a beer and the two Ians sat on the wall chatting. We decided to continue this lovely time with the Murray's and went out for dinner at the Casa del Faro, which is on the water. What a pleasant atmosphere! That plus the impeccable service and oh such delicious food. We all enjoyed our choices, including margarita to defy all margaritas.=== Brought back memories of the five I had a few weeks ago. But missing Dara to keep me company with all these old folks.
Twice today I was asked where my young man had gone. Some thought he was my younger brother and others thought he was my younger husband. I was shocked by all this and wondered how bad I looked to them all.
The last Saturday of the month is when the International Women's Club meet for their business meeting. I thought I would tag along with some ladies who were going there in a van. it was only to Merida; but this took us way longer than it should have, as no one seemed to know where to go. Yes, we came into town on the lovely boulevard but that was not the route the bus goes therefore Fran, the driver ot more confused. So, after driving around for an hour I suggested we park the car walk and walk to where she thought it was or even ask someone. Several tries asking on the street, we spotted the Tourism office. Thus precise directions. We had been looking on calle 57 between 66 and 68 but it turned out to be between 56 and 58 !!! (we left home at 8:30 and got to the meeting at 10:15 LOL!!!!)
Last week was the breakfast at the Hyatt Hotel and next week is coffee morning and following week is their high tea at someone's home as well. This meeting was to introduce the new board of directors and thank the outgoing board and present them all with certificates. These will all make their way into landfill sometime in the near future! They then spoke of what they would like to see happen in the future and what they didn't like that used to happen. This was all rather boring but was compensated with a delicious cake at the break. Yum! Yum! Our little group decided to leave before the meeting resumed. Jackie informed me that this meeting was not like most of them. I will try one more next month and maybe one of the coffees or teas before I leave. We got home early and I was pleased to do this as I had plans to take my parents to the fish fry restaurant I love so much "el portullero. This is an unusual experience, a kilo of deep fried grouper which has been artistically scored before being dumped into the pot of boiling oil.This is a meal you eat with your hands; pulling off the strips of scored fish and putting it on a tortilla with bit of onion and salsa and rolling it up. Each piece is so flavorful with crispy outside and very moist and tender inside. What a wonderful way to stimulate your tastebuds! We didn't quite finish it all as we were stuffed. I should have taken a photo of my mother crunching on all the crispy fins and tails of the two fish. I, of course, didn't remember bringing my camera until we are heading out the door.
We returned home to just relax on the patio knitting and chatting away enjoying the warm afternoon as the breeze started to pick up it gave us a bit of relief from the heat of the day!
I just had the worst night sleep here. At 11pm there were four people who decided to party next door and on our wall between them. I didn't want to say anything to them as you never know if they decide to become violent, especially when alcohol is present; or come back at another time and break in as pay back. So I just walked outside and thought they would leave shortly after I made my presence known! I was wrong! At 12:30 I finally went out to see them and ask if they wouldn't mind going somewhere else to party as I was trying to sleep. They said they would.
However, they didn't so, when at 1:40am I was woken again by them talking so loud so I got up to talk to them again only to find they had moved but only two houses down the beach and therefore were still loud enough to bother me. I hoped that maybe the men of the next door houses would get up and say something. No, not a chance. Finally not sure what time it was I did get to sleep only to be awakened at 6:10 by a flock of flamingos flying over the house. I hadn't the energy to get up and look at them. It certainly sounded like a large flock. Once they left I thought I would try and go back to sleep but then several other birds started making too much noise so I gave up and just came outside. The fishermen two doors down were already out there putting out their nets, totally unaware of my plight. There is no wind this morning and so the splashing of the waves is just a little ripple. There is a light haze on the horizon making the end of the pier a little obscure. No cruise ships or even cargo today! As I am sitting on the patio a large flock of turkeys decided to visit the house next door making their usual squawking noise. At the same time two little dogs walking along the beach with their owners reminded me of my friend Louise back home as they were the same as her dog which I think are called Westies. One decided to come and say hello much to the annoyance of their owners!
After a lovely traditional Sunday breakfast at home we headed to Merida again to see the dancers and have lunch as one last outing with my parents. It was all my dad could tolerate. Watching my dad tapping his foot to the music allowed me to know he was enjoying himself. He said he would have liked to dance but it was way too hot for him (36C) I would have liked to do more outings with my parents but that would have been too much for my father! I still have another month to get to see more items on my list! Also with plans to return next year I will have quite an agenda.
The Streets of Merida with such interesting buildings
Monday Feb 25th my parents last day!!
While my mom was having her lovely facial with Laura, I went into the ocean for a swim as the weather and water was so inviting. I could not convince my dad to join me; he seems to have a new fear of the ocean. Not sure how this came about!
Later in the day we were joined by the delightful Ian and Sheila Murray; John without Maggie Wheeler and Janet.
(Maggie is still not well and has been going to the hospital for treatment with her breathing everyday this week. Let's hope this clears up soon)
What a fantastic lovely evening was had by all present. The weather was very hot today and when they first arrived there was no wind and I wondered how we would tolerate the temperature but sure enough the breeze started up just in time to make our evening more pleasant.
The Two Ians bought matching shirts from Sharon with the logo for the Food bank!! Don't they look cute
The two Ians in their matching Foodbank shirts
My friend Sheila is such a kind person, not only did she spend so much time with my mother; bought her a bracelet to match her top, for her to remember her by. My parents have seen why I love it here so much. The people are what make this place !
Stay tuned for my time alone!!